Schumer expected to move quickly to dismiss Mayorkas impeachment

Schumer expected to move quickly to dismiss Mayorkas impeachment | The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
Allison Robbert

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) addresses reporters after the weekly policy luncheon on Wednesday, March 20, 2024.

Senate aides say they expect Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to immediately dismiss the impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after the House impeachment managers present them next week.

One Senate GOP aide said Schumer is expected to schedule a vote on a motion to dismiss or a motion to table the charges.

Schumer also could refer the matter to a special evidentiary committee, but Senate Democrats worry that doing so could help validate the two counts against Mayorkas, which Schumer has panned as “a sham” and “absurd.”

A Senate GOP aide who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter said Mayorkas’s impeachment won’t take up much time on the Senate floor.

“There’s not going to be a trial. I don’t think we’ll even get a resolution” to govern the floor process, said the aide.

The aide said Schumer is expected to offer a motion to dismiss or a motion to table the day after the House impeachment managers formally present the charges to the Senate on April 10.

Any motion to dismiss or table the charges against Mayorkas would need only a simple majority to pass. Democrats now hold a 51-49 seat advantage.

A vote to dismiss the articles of impeachment may get Republican support, as several GOP senators have expressed skepticism about the strength of the House GOP’s case against Mayorkas.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has said Mayorkas appeared to be “carrying out the policies of the White House” but declined to say how she might vote because she would be a juror in any trial.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) warned a partisan battle over Mayorkas on the Senate floor would be “a detour from the important work that’s going on.”

And Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) told CNN in February that he would be declined to dismiss the charges against Mayorkas.

“If there is a policy difference, it’s with the president not the secretary that reports to him,” he said.

Schumer has panned the House impeachment effort as failing to provide any evidence that Mayorkas committed high crimes and misdemeanors, the standard for impeachment set by the Constitution.

“There’s no evidence that he’s committed any impeachable activities or actions and I think it’s absurd,” he told reporters last month.

Sen. Laphonza Butler (D-Calif.) told reporters this week that she hopes the Senate will dismiss the impeachment charges immediately. 

“Leader Schumer has not been specific in how he intends to execute on that but let’s be clear: This was an impeachment in search of a problem,” she said.

“What I hope is that we’re able to dismiss it quickly and get on to the business of the American people,” she added.

Even Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, has dismissed the impeachment of Mayorkas as “ridiculous” and said he “just want[s] to get rid of it as quick as possible.”

Schumer’s office has only said the impeachment proceedings are expected to last at least two days.

“As we have said previously, after the House impeachment managers present the articles of impeachment to the Senate, senators will be sworn in as jurors in the trial the next day. Senate President Pro Tempore Patty Murray will preside,” Schumer’s office said.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and the House impeachment managers urged Schumer in a letter to hold a full trial on the Senate floor.

“We call upon you to fulfill your constitutional duty to hold this trial,” they wrote. “To table articles of impeachment without ever hearing a single argument or reviewing a piece of evidence would be a violation of our constitutional order an affront to the American people whom we all serve.”

It would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate to remove Mayorkas from office.

Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) has called on Schumer to give the House GOP prosecutors ample time to present their arguments on the floor.

“The House of Representatives has determined that Secretary Mayorkas has committed impeachable offenses. That issue will come before the United States Senate. I believe the Senate needs to hold a trial,” Thune announced at one of the weekly Senate GOP leadership press conferences.

Thune, however, predicted that “Democrats will try to dismiss it.”

Some Senate Republican sources say Schumer could have referred the impeachment inquiry to a special Senate committee to review the matter, which would have enabled him to postpone a floor vote until after Election Day.

That’s what the Senate did in 2010, when the House impeached Louisiana Judge Thomas Porteous.

It was the last time the Senate handled an impeachment of a federal official below the office of the presidency.

But a key difference between the case against Mayorkas and the case against Porteous 14 years ago was that Porteous faced a mountain of incriminating evidence, whereas even some Republicans now think the charges against Mayorkas are weak.

The Senate ultimately voted 90 to 6 to convict Porteous.


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Chuck Schumer

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